Congratulations! Now, you’re at 23 weeks pregnant. Wondering what is happening to the baby? In week 23, your baby weighs a little over 500g and measures about 20cm from crown to heel. He continues to mature and develop; for instance, the unborn child’s hearing is well-established and he can make out the mother’s distorted voice, heart beat, and stomach rumblings. Loud noise (the dog’s barking, vacuum cleaner’s roar) won’t bother your baby when he’s outside the womb.
How is your baby at 23 weeks pregnant? Inside your belly, the child has started developing a noticeable sleep-wake cycle – there will be periods when he’s awake and active, and times when he’s asleep and resting. During week 23, your baby is about the size of a papaya and filling out rather nicely. You can expect him to nearly double his weight over the next 4 weeks. Also, in addition to advance in your baby’s hearing, his lungs are developing to prepare for breathing; however, he won’t pass his first stool (mecomium) until after birth.
What happen to you? Because of a growing belly and weight, your pregnancy, at this stage, may continue to experience physical pregnancy symptoms. These symptoms can often include: foot growth, heat rashes, red palms and soles of feet, skin tags, stretch marks, skin discoloration, facial skin darkening, insomnia, increased appetite, bloating, snoring, tingling hands, bleeding gums, and forgetfulness. Yet, one of the symptoms that most women can experience during week 23 of pregnancy is ‘chloasma‘ – the formation of dark patches on the skin.
Why you often feel breathless easily? Your baby’s development at 23 weeks makes your uterus expands – other organs begin to become squashed to make room for the unborn child. The ribs moving upwards and outwards mean you have less room to take deep breaths; this makes you feel like you’re wearing a corset. In this case, you should try to do exercise gently and particularly yoga – it helps improving fitness and teaching you deep breathing techniques.
Furthermore, because your stomach is squashed, you can easily get heartburn or indigestion, and could feel super full after meals. Your bladder will also get squeezed that means you have to head to the toilet more frequently.
What should you do to have a healthy pregnancy? Getting into the habit of staying well-hydrated is crucial. Water is the best, but fruit or vegetable juices are fine, as well as milk. Staying hydrated helps you avoid headaches, urinary tract infections, and uterine cramping. If your urine has the bright yellow or orange-brown color, you are clearly dehydrated. Be active and don’t sit for long periods of time to reduce undue cankle-age, remember.
From week 6 to week 24, pregnancy tends to increase the risk of urinary tract infections, so if your symptoms are not simple from the pregnancy, plus you suspect an infection, speak with a health care provider about the treatment.
Of course, it’s a lot of responsibility, but you can do it. You’re at 23 weeks pregnant, so keep up the good work, mama!